Alexandre Lacazette finds Arsenal hope in a new role but relies on Arteta belief

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes Alexandre Lacazette is capable of being the answer to their goalscoring woes after an eye-catching display in the No 10 position against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League.

With the north London derby coming up on Sunday, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta rested several of his big name players and gave an opportunity to those on the fringes to impress him.

And Lacazette delighted the 2,000 fans at the Emirates with a fine strike from distance to open the scoring in the 10th minute.

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Deployed behind central striker Eddie Nketiah, Lacazette seemed to enjoy his deeper role and linked the midfield and attack well in his 63 minutes on the field.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 03: Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring Arsenal’s 1st goal during the UEFA Europa League Group B stage match between Arsenal FC and Rapid Wien at Emirates Stadium on December 03, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Lacazette will now be hoping he has done enough to convince Arteta to start him at the weekend against Tottenham.

Arsenal sit 14th in the Premier League table with just 10 goals scored and eight points behind their table-topping neighbours.

And Keown feels Lacazette’s display will have given Arteta something to think about.

Mikel Arteta will have been pleased with how his players performed

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“If you look at [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and Lacazette – two very good strikers – rarely do they play together, as a pair, Emery did do it for a spell with [Mesut] Ozil playing off of him, or [Aaron] Ramsey,” said Keown on BT Sport.

“So there is that option to do it. To get more bodies into the final third. Four players getting into the box tonight, sometimes five.

“[Ainsley] Maitland-Niles impressed me tonight. It looked so easy for him. He’s got other gears to go through.

“I think it’s interesting Lacazette playing that position. It gives Arsenal other options. Certainly his passes from deep and his shooting ability tonight.”

When asked if Lacazette could be the answer for Arteta, Keown replied: “Well it depends how much Arteta really believes in what he saw tonight.

“Coupled with the fact the opposition weren’t very good. Tottenham Hotspur are going to be a totally different opposition.

“Tottenham do sit deeper and invite the opposition on so he might want to get extra bodies in the final third. Now this is a way of doing it.”

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